2009 Moving a Child Policy

POLICY SUMMARY

(Practice Change)

Considerations & Notification for Placement Moves

July 2009

When is it effective? July 26, 2009

What does it mean to me?

RA approval is required prior to any placement move for a child who has been in the same placement for 12 months or

longer, except under the following circumstances:

 The child must be moved quickly because safety concerns prevent the child from remaining in the current

placement.

Note: If Division of Licensed Recourses (DLR) CPS investigator assesses a child’s safety is in jeopardy,

the investigator informs the CA supervisor of the safety issues. If resolution is not possible, the removal

decision will be made by the region’s chain of authority process.

Note: A DLR/CPS decision to make a finding or revoke a foster care license is not the same as a

determination that a child’s safety is immediately in jeopardy.

 The current caregiver requests immediate removal of the child and is unable or unwilling to continue providing care

to the child even with supports.

 The court has ordered that the child be reunified with a parent or guardian.

 The proposed change in placement will meet the child’s permanent plan of:

– Adoption:

o When an approved adoptive family has been identified; and/or

o When the current caregiver has indicated s/he will not be an adoptive placement

– Third party custody

– Relative Guardianship (R-GAP)

And, Prior to the child's proposed change in placement the child's current caregiver(s) attended one or

more shared planning meetings in which the placement move was discussed and does not object to the

child moving to a new home.

 Child has reached the age of 18.

 The Court has ordered the child be moved to a different placement.

Important: The social worker should not recommend the child be moved from a home in which the child has

resided for 12 months without the prior RA agreement, unless the placement move falls within one of the

exceptions of this policy.

POLICY SUMMARY

(Practice Change)

Considerations & Notification for Placement Moves

July 2009

 Social Workers will notify caregivers when a decision is made to move a child. At least five (5) days

prior to moving a child, CA staff must provide written notification to the current caregiver of a child’s

proposed move, unless:

– The child has resided in the placement for less than 90 days.

– Safety concerns prevent the child from remaining in the current placement.

– A court order requires an immediate change in placement.

– The child is residing in a receiving home or a group home. RCW 74.14A.020 and RCW 74.13.300

Note: When a child moves prior to the five (5) day written notice, notice must be given to the family as soon as

possible.

What is important to remember?

Prior to requesting RA approval for a child’s change in placement from a caregiver who has cared for the child for one

year or longer, CA staff must complete the following steps:

1. Consult with his/her supervisor and area administrator about the recommendation to move a child.

2. Follow procedures in the Indian Child Welfare Manual if the child is an Indian child

3. Conduct a Family Decision Team Meeting (FTDM) or Shared Planning Meeting to discuss:

 If the placement is in the child’s best interest

 What supports could be used to sustain the placement so that it can be a permanent placement

resource or until the child/youth is placed with a permanent family

 How the placement move will support the achievement of the child’s permanent plan.

4. Document all child placement decisions and discussions in the electronic case file.

5. Provide the AA a written explanation of the need for the child’s placement move. Attach documentation of

the decisions from the Shared Planning Meeting. (The AA will forward the request for the placement move,

to the RA).

6. Obtain RA approval prior to making a recommendation to the court supporting a placement change.

When a caregiver is requesting the immediate removal a child, complete the following steps:

 Conduct a Family Decision Team Meeting (FTDM) or Shared Planning Meeting to discuss:

– If the placement is in the child’s best interest

POLICY SUMMARY

(Practice Change)

Considerations & Notification for Placement Moves

July 2009

– What supports could be used to sustain the placement so that it can be a permanent placement

resource or until the child/youth is placed with a permanent family

– How the placement move will support the achievement of the child’s permanent plan.

• Explore services available to stabilize the child in the current placement. Services could include:

– Respite

– Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT (child ages 2 to 7)

– Functional Family Therapy (FFT) (child ages 11-17)

– Incredible Years (child ages 2 to 7)

– Family Preservation Services (FPS)

– Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS)

– Crisis Family Intervention (CFI) (formerly FRS Phase II)

– Other stabilization services and supports

• Review current relatives, non-related kin (“suitable persons”), and siblings’ placements as possible placement

resources per the due diligence and placement priority policy.

• Document all placement discussions and decisions in the electronic case file.

When a decision has been made to move a child and the child has been in the current placement for 90 days or longer,

the social worker is responsible for notifying the caregiver of the move. Five days prior notice is required unless:

• The child has resided in the placement for less than 90 days.

• The child is being moved for safety reasons

• An immediate move is required due to a court order

• The child resides in a receiving home or group home

Resources associated with this policy:

 Policy - Considerations and Notification for Placement Moves - Practice and Procedure Chapter 5000 – section 5650

 Five Day Notification Letter (DSHS form #)

 Policy Summary– July 2009